How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Desert survival

1 – Stay hydrated

Don’t ration water or drink only when you’re thirsty. Instead fend off dehydration by reducing water loss through sweat. Loosen clothes, keep your mouth closed and avoid unnecessary movement.

2 – Find shade

Keep cool and conserve water by resting near large rocks and other natural shade. Create shelter beneath a tarpaulin or blankets, and move around at dawn or dusk when it’s cooler.

3 – Seek water

If you’re stranded without water, look for birds circling over waterholes. Follow trails or roads, and dig near thirsty plants like willows. Wait for rescue beside water if possible.

4 – Build a fire

Temperatures plunge in hot deserts at night. Fires keep you warm, create smoke to attract rescuers, give out light and cooking heat, and help fend off scorpions and other critters.

5 – Save yourself
Spell out messages to attract low-flying planes using rocks or logs. Blow a whistle, light fires, signal by flashing sunlight off a mirror, or write notes for rescuers to find.